We invite LDS members to prepare a packet of materials to share with bishops, stake presidents, Relief Society presidents, and other LDS leaders who want to gain new insights on LGBT/SSA issues. You may also want to share this packet with LDS family, friends, and neighbors. Select from the following items as you carefully and prayerfully ponder your situation and those with whom you will share these items. In many cases you can print the items below. You may also want to prepare a cover page in which you list the items you select with brief descriptions and URLs.
New Church Website: www.MormonsAndGays.org
We suggest this website is the most powerful tool you have to reach Church leaders, because it is an official church website and it has the endorsement of three of the apostles. It will be best for the leader, family, or friend if they simply listen to the entire website, but since it involves nearly two hours of listening or reading (not all statements are fully transcribed), you may wish to highlight certain items and point out some of the most relevant and powerful statements. See the summary we have prepared which you can print off and use to familiarize the intended recipient.
- New Church Website on Same-sex Attraction Offers Love, Understanding and Hope (LDS Newsroom, 6 December 2012) This is the LDS Newsroom article announcing the new website. It may be helpful to include this as evidence that the new website is an official church website.
- Four-page summary of www.MormonsAndGays.org
- So How Can We Utilize the New Website? (Carol Lynn Pearson, No More Strangers blog, 23 March 2013)
Carol Lynn describes a multi-stake young adult fireside their stake held that focused on the new website. This is helpful to share with a leader because it shows how they can use clips from the website in church meetings and firesides, and it shows the enthusiasm of young people in receiving these new materials.
Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Latter-day Saint Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Children (Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D. and Robert A. Rees, Ph.D., San Francisco State University, 2012)
This booklet describes the influence of acceptance and rejection by family on youth and young adults who are lesbian, gay, and bisexual when the youth first share their feelings. The research findings are powerfully surrounded by LDS scriptures, statements from LDS leaders, and examples of youth who received the support they needed.
- Changing the Mormon conversation on homosexuality (Donald Fletcher, Washington Post, 25 June 2012)
- Protecting our LGBT/SSA/Questioning Youth from Suicide and Other Risks
This one-page handout can be printed on one sheet of paper (both sides) and can be easily used in church meetings so attendees can take home guidance on the healing power of acceptance. It uses both LGBT and SSA terminology and discusses youth who have either identified as LGBT or are questioning their sexual orientation. It contains reference to the Ryan and Rees booklet as well as the American Association of Suicidology and the Trevor Project, (a 24/7 hotline) for suicide help. There are seven suggestions for families and leaders which come directly from apostles, the new website, or from official Mormon materials.
John Gustav-Wrathall Describes His Experiences in the Kirtland Temple (Young Stranger Blog, 19 September 2011)
Is the Dream Beginning to Come True? (Randall Thacker describes his return to the LDS Church, 17 September 2012)
These two links share stories of two gay Mormons whose testimonies have inspired them to return to church and be active in their wards. They are both in long-term committed same-sex relationships. John was excommunicated many years ago but has still been warmly welcomed in his ward. Randall returned with the support of his bishop and without having received any church discipline.
Circling the Wagons Mormon LGBT Conference: Matt Mosman’s Talk (Mitch Mayne’s blog, 14 August 2012)
This talk was given by Matt Mosman, a high councilor in San Francisco Stake, and explains how the official Church Handbook has two forms of disciplinary council. It indicates that a bishop has the discretion to allow those in gay relationships to be active without discipline because a disciplinary council is not required.